My friend Gary’s wedding is coming up and as I’m part of the wedding party, Gary is renting us tuxedos. We’re all renting from The Men’s Warehouse, and I just completed the fitting today.
The salesperson, to his regret, asked me what I thought of the product. Noticing significant looseness in the chest, I said for a suit it was quite baggy. “What do you expect? It’s a rental.” Alas, given all the money (hundreds) going into rentals, I was a bit disappointed in the fit. But as I have discovered way back in my early suit buying years, none of the suits sold in American department stores or Men’s Warehouse fit.
I’m 170 pounds on a 6’3″ frame. I’m fit, though not quite as fit as years ago when I rode my bicycle thousands of miles in a year. In spite of my fitness, perhaps I’m just genetically predisposed to skinniness? Or is it my spartan diet of rice and fish? Or was my metabolism established through good eating habits at an early age? It all remains a mystery.
My skinniest time in life was when I lived in Japan. Living on my own, I tended to under eat as protein was scarce and expensive, portions in restaurants were small, and I didn’t spend much effort cooking. Plus, I rode my bicycle everywhere, night and day. When I came back, my mom seeing me at the airport was concerned: I looked ghoulish and malnourished. “Would I drop dead if I got sick?” was the preeminent concern.
I’ve frequently made my wife Hitomi jealous. I have the Asian female ideal’s (in their mind) body fat percentage, maybe somewhere around 5%, though given their physiology, the ideal for a woman is closer to 15%. But at the same time I’ve been teased by her: ‘gari-gari’ ‘honé-honé’ are the Japanese words Hitomi uses when calling me thin.
I’ve been skinny since I could remember. And sadly, it wasn’t something I was entirely comfortable with until five or so years ago when I took up riding my bicycle. Riding up mountain roads will make you really appreciate your lack of body weight. So will fitting into those European cycling jerseys and those skinny Levis bike jeans. Wearing clothes that truly fit, you cannot help feel your body really does belong in this world.
But perhaps my skinny life is at an end? Having a one year old son, and new job at Apple, I just haven’t had the time to keep up exercise like I used to. My waist size has gone from 32 to 34 inches. And now that I’m frequently off the bike, I’ve lost muscle mass and tone. Still not fat enough to fit in a Men’s Warehouse suit.